With the prompt “Superhero” I am inclined to think about a homily in which we were directed to think about the saints in our lives. I took the message in, and just thought for a few minutes about the positive influences/supporters in my life. It was a peaceful exercise. I reflected on the times where I was just struggling to be a parent, a school teacher and a provider all on my own, or so I thought. The timing in which my friends appeared in my life, just as my fridge leaked and flooded my living room after a full day at work, as my car broke down over and over again, and as my sister was diagnosed with leukemia… at the most challenging moments where I felt I could drown in a glass of water, they appeared, reassuring me that I could indeed get through all of it. Up to that homily I had always thought, “I don’t know how I did it.” Now I realize I had saints, I had real live superheroes pick me up and get me through those hard times.
Those experiences have humbled me because now I look to those very “heroes” who pulled me out of my stress and held me up. They are now widowed, parents to autistic children, and people that face their own challenges with grace, and even a sense of humor. What’s more, even though their hands are quite full, they still find it in themselves to offer people around them help, or even dedicate their small bit of leftover time to something positive to the community. They taught me to say the words, ” Can I help you?” to the elderly or to the overwhelmed parent whose toddler may be melting down in the grocery store.
Our society’s vision of super heroes is all wrong. We get so stuck on exterior appeal, we forget to look at the real make up of a hero. For example, would we ever think of Mother Theresa as a super hero? I remember she died right at the time Princess Diana died. (Not to take away from the Princess, for she too had the compassion to visit hospitals and was active in projects that promoted peace.) I understand the death was unexpected and tragic and I think most people remember what they were doing when the princess died. Truly, I don’t remember what I was doing when Mother Theresa died. I was young and did not value life and actions as I do now. My vision was blurred. But perhaps if the media/society had stressed a little more on the loss of Mother Theresa, maybe I would have started to value life and actions at an earlier age.
Superheros do exist. They are the people whose inner beauty oozes out. They have compassion and drive and make a difference whenever possible. No excuses. If I was cornered into choosing only one superhero, I guess it would be Mother Theresa with her blue and white cape. But I also recognize that I witness other superheros all the time. Because of them I can take comfort that in this crazy, self centered society of “selfies and me me me!” there are people that can look beyond exteriors and extend their hand to help others. They “walk the walk.” Not only are they Superheros to me, they are truly beautiful beings and I’m glad I can see them very clearly now.
Post Note- ( I might add that I am married to a Superhero myself- LOL) It is day 80 of my journey and I did have a major slip up this week, but am back on the path.